Mayor Mircea Hava of former capital city Alba Iulia, in Transylvania, has extended a formal invitation to Prince Charles to take on the honorific title of Prince of Transylvania.
In a letter to the Prince of Wales Mayor Hava said: “We know how much you love Transylvania. It has become your second home and you have been the region’s most valuable ambassador. Moreover, you claim your roots from our legendary Prince Vlad. As you love Transylvania so much, we thought, ‘What if instead of only being ‘The Prince of Wales’, you would be known from now on as ‘The Prince of Wales AND Transylvania’?”
Hava added: “You have to admit that ‘Prince of Wales AND Transylvania’ sounds like a fantastic way to introduce yourself, in addition to being a great conversation starter.”
Charles has been outspoken on his love for the culture, countryside and way of life in Transylvania saying he’s been ‘bewitched’ by the country and environment. Since his first visit in 1998, the Prince of Wales has purchased two 400-year-old homes in the area, which he rents to the public when they’re not in use.
Prince Charles has also visited the area at least once a year for more than a decade and has done extensive charitable work through the Prince of Wales Foundation which has focused on conservation, sustainable development and farming systems.
After his initial visit Prince Charles learned that he is distantly related to a notorious and nefarious character in Transylvania’s past – Vlad the Impaler.
Charles spoke light-heartedly of the remarkable link in a documentary on the Carpathian Mountains saying: “Transylvania is in my blood…The genealogy shows I am descended from Vlad the Impaler, so I do have a bit of a stake in the country.”
Notorious Vlad is said to have covered a hillside with so many impaled men that it looked like a forest. The link to Prince Charles comes via Queen Mary – consort to Charles’s great-grandfather George V – who is said to be related to the 15th century murderer.